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Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 5:46 am | Fair 54º


The Key Class Making a Difference with Santa Barbara County Students

Community Matters forum on Monday will feature John Daly in a discussion of the program and why it works

When The Key Class partnered with the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse’s Teen Court several years ago, its purpose was to work with at-risk teens to avoid criminal records and re-evaluate where their lives were headed while holding them accountable for first-time misdemeanor offenses.

According to Ed Cue, Teen Court program director, The Key Class is the backbone of impressive turnarounds of a 92 percent completion rate and recidivism of 12 percent.

The Key Class is setting these kids up for success, not failure, by giving them the tools to create good first impressions and successfully interview for jobs and college entrance. The Key Class is the go-to-guide for mastering American social etiquette.

But John Daly, president of The Key Class, has taken it a step further. Once again creating a partnership, this time with Partners in Education, Daly has taken this course into the Santa Barbara County school system.

Last year the class was taught at La Cuesta Continuation High School, El Puente Community School and Dos Pueblos High School. This month, Daly will add Rincon High School in Carpinteria, San Marcos High in the AVID (advanced) Program, the Anacapa School in Santa Barbara, as well as continuing with CADA through Teen Court.

Daly is in discussions with several colleges interested in adding The Key Class to their course offerings.

Community Matters — a weekly forum for Santa Barbara nonprofit organizations — hosts Maria Long and Ed Giron will interview Daly at 10 a.m. Monday to discuss just why The Key Class is working for teens.

“In both personal and professional situations,” Daly says, “every society has traditions that determine the way people are judged by others they meet. Understanding these guidelines in society can make or break a person in any situation.”

Part of the secret is that The Key Class is teen/young adult-friendly. Daly doesn’t use old-fashioned techniques and has made good manners cool in the eyes of his students, who leave the class with a complete understanding of the necessary skills to succeed in both their work and life environments.

— Carol McKibben represents The Key Class.

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